The 41st annual Bishop’s Services Appeal, a fundraising campaign to assist in the operation of various ministries and programs of the Diocese of Lake Charles, kicked off the weekend of Sept. 11-12 in church parishes throughout the diocese.
This year’s campaign, which continues until the end of the fiscal year — June 30, 2022, with a goal of $842,000 — has as its theme: “Without a Vision, the People Lose Restraint,” a scripture reference from Proverbs 29:18.
Contributions to the BSA aid a variety of ministries of the local church including Catholic Education, Youth Ministry, Vocations/Seminarians, Catholic Charities, Family Life, Annulment and other Tribunal Fees, Seafarers Center, Diocesan Counseling, Evangelization, Communications, and Saint Charles Center.
“In spite of the recent devastating challenges, the ministries offered by the Diocese of Lake Charles never wavered,” said Stephanie Rodrigue, who serves as both Director of Temporal Goods and the Office of Development. “Each and every ministry remains a viable option for diocesan parishioners and so many others. In fact, services provided by some ministries, such as Catholic Charities and Communications, expanded to meet needs that have been exacerbated by both COVID-19 and the natural disasters that we experienced. As diocesan parishioners, we have a significant responsibility to share in financially supporting these good works.”
In his Bishop’s Services Appeal message, Bishop Glen John Provost said, “In light of the events of 2020-2021, we need to renew our vision in the Diocese of Lake Charles. Our Recovery Efforts are making progress with the limited funds that we have available, but without all of us working together, we will forget to maintain a vision. And, my friends, let us not forget that the vision is not ours. Any vision to meet its goal must have Christ at the center.
“The Bishop’s Services Appeal is the stewardship by which you the faithful support the mission of the Church. The mission that Christ gave to His apostles and disciples has not changed in the two thousand years since His Life, Death, and Resurrection.
“The Diocese of Lake Charles has struggled because of the disasters of the past year and a half. But our mission continues. The Diocesan Offices and Ministries are meant to serve you as parish support. The efforts we make are to ensure that the vital work of the parishes continue now and for years to come.”
Bishop Provost noted in his annual message that he is pleased with the progress the Office of Religious Education has made in its efforts of keeping the vision.
“The Office of Religious Education oversees the Parishes’ Religious Education Program and the Catholic Religion Studies at our Catholic Schools,” he said. “The goal that has been constant is to ensure a consistent and regular presentation of the Faith for our children and grandchildren.”
His Excellency also noted the importance of the education of seminarians so that they may serve as future priests.
“This year, eight men have dedicated themselves to learning and formation. It is a tedious process because of the years of preparation it takes to ordain one man,” he said. “But without a vision, we cannot expect to secure the future celebration of the Sacraments.”
The service of those in need, especially considering the multitude of disasters, is led by Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana.
“The vision of Catholic Charities helps to ensure that the poor are given the good news of salvation by assuring them that we, the Catholic Church, care for their bodily and spiritual needs,” said Bishop Provost. “The vision helps to ensure that those trapped or imprisoned by need witness the love of Christ reaching out to them.”
The bishop concluded his BSA message reminding people that all of us need a place to go to refocus our vision on Christ and His purpose and mission.
“In the Diocese of Lake Charles, the Saint Charles Center offers the opportunity for priests and lay faithful to go away from the world and be alone with Christ. We go into that holy place preoccupied and worried. Christ speaks to us, and we regain His vision,” Bishop Provost said, noting that the generosity of the faithful helps keep the Saint Charles Center open, along with the beautiful new youth facility, Camp Karol.
“Storms have surrounded us, and sickness has tried to overcome us,” Bishop Provost concluded in his message, “but with our eyes on Christ, we can walk confidently through these trials. No One less than Christ, our Lord, is our goal.”
Donors can choose from the following options to make their contribution:
- By check or cash in your parish’s designated BSA collection envelope.
- By designating a donation at any time in your parish’s collection.
- By credit card or electronic check (ACH) through the Diocese of Lake Charles’ website at http://www.lcdiocese.org/resources/support-the-diocese.